advertisement

This super-urban, relatively casual neighborhood restaurant has been one of the city’s top Italian restaurants for nearly 20 years. James Beard Award–winning chef and owner/chef Craig Stoll is known for simple, rustic cuisine done right, while his wife, Annie, ensures the relaxed, knowledgeable service is equally pro. Yes, there are pastas here. But you’ll find just as much satisfaction in other simple pleasures, such as grilled octopus, or roasted chicken with mushrooms and olive oil mashed potatoes. An outdoor patio open mid-March through October provides more space for diners. More casual and less expensive is neighboring Pizzeria Delfina (3611 18th St.; pizzeriadelfina.com; [tel] 415/437-6800), and a second pizzeria in Pacific Heights at 2406 California St. ([tel] 415/440-1189).